The 9th annual Radical Democracy conference, sponsored by the Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research, will convene theorists and practitioners around the theme of Radical Ecologies. In the year that “climate strike” was named word of the year by Collins Dictionary, we seek to explore what opportunities for democratic resistance can be found in a multiplicity of ecologies. The conference will provide a platform for dialogue on the urgent question of our future in a post-climate change world.
Against the backdrop of increasingly visible and devastating climate disasters, resurgent environmental movements are embracing divergent visions and methods of struggle to realize change. As such, it is timely to ask, What makes an ecology radical? A multitude of intersecting traditions have sought to answer this question. An eco-feminist might approach this through the lens of social reproduction. An eco-socialist might frame radical ecology in terms of a mode of production beyond capitalism that can sustain and replenish nature. Indigenous perspectives can draw on centuries of resistance to extractive colonial capitalism. The conference will consider how a radical ecological praxis can be pursued within this plurality of histories, cosmologies and schools of thought, and, crucially, examine what we can learn from the work of activists on the frontline today. We therefore call on both scholars and activists to engage in a fruitful dialogue on the still unsettled relationship between politics and the environment.